* Airfield workers to re-start strike on Sunday
* Will strike until Thursday
* Lufthansa says long-haul flights get priority
(Adds Lufthansa and Fraport comments)
FRANKFURT, Feb 25 Airfield workers at
Frankfurt Airport will resume their strike for five days from
Sunday after their representatives and airport operator Fraport
failed to reach a pay deal late on Friday, trade union
GdF said on Saturday.
GdF said in a statement the strike would start at 2000 GMT
Sunday, Feb. 26, until 0400 GMT on Thursday, March 1.
Frankfurt airport is Europe's third-busiest after
London-Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, with about 1,300
flight movements per day, more than half of them by Lufthansa
After the pay talks collapsed on Friday, Fraport dismissed
GdF's demand as unjustified and unacceptable, while GdF blamed
Fraport for making an offer lower than the original one from
before the mediation process.
A spokesman for Lufthansa said late on Saturday
that, like with the previous walkouts, long-haul flights would
be given priority and a list of Monday's flight cancellations
would be available on its website from Sunday afternoon.
"As the strike begins late, we expect minimal impact for
Sunday, with virtually no cancellations. For Monday we expect
there will be some cancellations if a strike does go ahead," he
Lufthansa was the worst hit by the strikes that started on
Feb. 16 and ran until Feb. 22 with a break over the weekend.
The strike had been due to run until Friday, but was broken
off on Wednesday after Fraport wrote to the union offering
The workers affected were around 200 ground crew who guide
aircraft to parking positions.
Just over 1,000 flights have been cancelled since last
Thursday, the vast majority of them from Lufthansa, which has
mostly scrapped European services to give priority to
Lufthansa has said the first four days of the strike have so
far cost it a high double-digit million euro sum in turnover.
A Fraport spokesman confirmed late on Saturday the company
was ready to deal with any strikes, and referred back to an
earlier statement on Sunday in which the group urged the union
to accept its latest offer.
Fraport has been using former ground crew to
replace striking workers, with the number of flight
cancellations dropping each day as staff became used to the role
(Reporting By Marilyn Gerlach and Victoria Bryan, editing by